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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S MEDIA DAY


October 22, 2013


Scott Drew


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Coach Scott Drew from Baylor.テつ Coach, welcome, and your opening thoughts about the season?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, it's an exciting time at Baylor University.テつ Top 5 football team in the nation, new football stadium.テつ We're excited for the start of basketball, and I know every coach is always excited to see how their team, after practicing against each other for a while, how they compare against other opponents.テつ So we're excited for that.

Q.テつ You lost a terrific point guard.テつ How are you going to replace that?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think, first of all, we return a great front court, and that makes it easier for all guard play to begin with.テつ But in practice we've had six different people run the point at different times.テつ So I think we have multiple people that are capable of handling the ball, distributing the ball.
I think instead of maybe being so dominant with the ball in one person's hand, I think we'll share it a little bit more this year.

Q.テつ Could you just walk us through the conversations you had with Isaiah and with Cory about whether to come back or head to the NBA?テつ Both had their options.テつ What do their decisions mean to you in terms of the front line?テつ This may be as good as the one that went to the Elite Eight for you guys.
COACH DREW:テつ First of all, both people have great families and they get good advice from home.テつ I think their families would have supported them either way.テつ Starting with Isaiah, I know his family thought that another year in college would serve him well and allow him to gain some strength and keep maturing on and off the court, because all freshmen that sophomore year, you're able to, I think, see more growth during that time than any other time.
At the same time, Isaiah was perfect timing because he needed shoulder surgery, and not being able to work out for NBA teams, it was a great chance for him to rehab, get his shoulder right, work on his physical development.テつ So that's what went in with that.
Again, we're very blessed because both individuals didn't receive bad advice.テつ It was more what's best for you.テつ What would you like to do?テつ And I think it's a tribute to Baylor University and Baylor Nation that they'd want to come back with Cory Jefferson who is a fifth‑year player now, and you don't see a lot of those, and Cory is someone who is continuing to improve each and every day.テつ This summer he had great opportunities with the USA team, and with visiting with him definitely could have gone at the same time.テつ The thought of him having a chance to play and move up in the draft this year and continue to develop, that was something that he wanted to do.テつ He cares for Baylor University a lot.テつ This will be his fifth year there.

Q.テつ Off topic, but Frank Haith reportedly will be suspended for five games with the whole situation that happened at Miami.テつ I'm curious, do situations like that make college basketball coaches more cautious about who they allow around their programs?
COACH DREW:テつ I think every college coach tries to do as good a job as they can in trying to protect the program and making sure that we're not putting our players in harm's way.テつ Unfortunately we can't be with everybody 24/7, and there has to be some trust.テつ That's why it's great the more the rules are explained, compliances offices are able to let the incoming recruits know that stuff just so you don't jeopardize anyone's eligibility.テつ Because a lot of times‑‑ sometimes in high school rules can be broken and then they pay the price when they get to college even and they didn't know that that rule even existed.

Q.テつ Do you think the blocked charge (indiscernible) was worthwhile after seeing it last season?
COACH DREW:テつ I definitely enjoyed it.テつ I don't know how the officials liked it.テつ But from a coaching standpoint it was a lot easier to understand and teach where you need to be.テつ Players knew where they needed to be.テつ I know with the rules adjusting this year, it's going to be tougher to get charges, especially in the middle tunnel.テつ But I think overall it was something I was in favor of for a while because I saw how‑‑ remember, coaches have to officiate in practice.テつ The charge circle made it easier for us.テつ So you might have to ask an official what they thought, but I was better in practice.

Q.テつ Last year you went into Kentucky and into their win streak there.テつ This year turn around, you're playing at Cowboy Stadium.テつ They're going to be number one in the country.テつ Just how do you look at that game and both teams are apparently on the upswing this season, as well as the venue where everybody's going into Cowboy Stadium at the end of the year?
COACH DREW:テつ I think having the Final Four there is a great opportunity, players from Kentucky and Baylor to have a chance to see what a Final Four atmosphere is going to be like.テつ At the same time, playing in a stadium like that is nothing but exciting for everybody involved.テつ I think it's going to be a great weekend for Baylor University.テつ You have men's and women's basketball in a doubleheader versus Kentucky on Friday, and then on Saturday you have the last home game at Floyd Casey Stadium versus Texas, an in‑state rivalry.テつ So I think that's going to be a great weekend for Baylor fans to watch sports.

Q.テつ I've heard a lot of buzz about Ishmail Wainright.テつ What role can he play for this team, and how important will he be for the program this year?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, Ish is what we call him for short.テつ He's somebody that you love to coach every day in practice.テつ He walks on the floor and he has a smile, brings energy to the team.
Extremely coachable.テつ Does all the little things.テつ Sports fans really study the game and appreciate the game because he's one of those guys that just makes winning plays.テつ He's very versatile, being someone that can play the 1 through the 4.テつ So he can provide match‑up problems depending on what position he plays.
Defensively, normally the biggest adjustment for everybody coming into college is on the defensive end.テつ He's somebody that really prides himself on that and really wants to get after it on the defensive end.テつ So that makes him somebody that you don't have to worry about energy, effort, and the importance of having them understand the importance.
Sometimes coming out of high school, you can't really be aggressive or focus on the defensive end because of the fouls.テつ And you need to stay out of foul trouble because of the offense.テつ So it takes some time to catch up to the intensity level needed.テつ He provides all of that right away.

Q.テつ Coach, have you seen Isaiah Austin maybe take that next step in becoming a more well‑rounded player?テつ How have you seen him improve so far this off‑season?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, first of all, let's talk off the floor and being a sophomore and leadership‑wise he's done a great job with the new players we have.テつ I think just seeing how he's related to them and how he's taken them under his wing in different areas.テつ Hey, let me help you get to class.テつ Let me help you with this.テつ Now this is what you need to do.テつ That's great to see.
Then in practice he's somebody that we don't call a lot of fouls.テつ He's moving on to the next play and somebody that wants to know, hey, don't give me any easy fouls.テつ I want everything the hard way, and he wants to get better.
A perfect example is losing team, if they have to run lines or whatever punishment, he usually jumps in and helps them no matter if he was on the winning team or not.テつ So a lot of little things that are really impressive for a sophomore.

Q.テつ You're going to be one of the few teams in the country that enters the season on a winning streak.テつ What was the value of that experience and then your approach to that, to the NIT last year?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, cutting down nets in Madison Square Garden, there are only two teams that finish with the win with the NCAA, and that's just a great feeling going into summertime.
But I think our approach, first of all, in the tournament was in it to win it.テつ I think you look at once you found the match‑ups and the brackets, so many good teams in college basketball.テつ I was just telling someone a little bit earlier, the parity, the one year VCU was the last team in, people were upset they got in and went to the Final Four and could have won a National Championship.
So it just shows you the fine line there is.テつ That's what makes college basketball so exciting today.
Wednesday we knew who we were playing, and I know our guys were really excited for that.テつ Having postseason experience and being successful is very helpful, especially to the young players who get a chance to extend practice time too, and that post‑season feeling of win‑or‑go‑home mentality.
So hopefully that definitely pays off for us this year.テつ I know it was a great experience for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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